We like to think of chimney crowns as icing on the cake. It's the white top on your chimney that forms a water tight surface preventing water from penetrating your chimney. It also protects the mortar that holds the bricks & chimney structure together. The chimney crown and the chimney must be waterproofed to prevent water from entering within. If your chimney is deteriorating, chances are that you have a problem with your chimney crown.
The chimney crown is exposed to the harshest of weather. We see lots of problems to this area of the chimney, caused by water damage or cracks from constantly changing temperatures in our Ohio weather.
Because of our freeze, thaw weather, overtime your chimney crown can crack and deteriorate. If water is able to find its way into a small crack and freeze, it expands. The thaw that happens the next day allows a little bit more water in the same crack and when it freezes again, the crack expands again. Enough of this over time and the small crack is now a crevice and there can be some real water problems because of it. But if the chimney masonry structure is sound, we can apply a strong bonding sealant to fill the cracks, then cover this with a waterproof sealant to prevent further damage.
Most chimneys we encounter have a mortar crown, this is usually because the mason that built the chimney simply tops it off with the mortar that is left from laying the bricks up. A mortar crown while easy to make does not provide any of the water protection that a poured concrete crown will provide or the longevity of repair. A poured concrete crown while costs more initially will save you money over the course of time. The poured concrete crown provides an overhang to shed water away from the brickwork, a cast in place drip edge and an expansion joint where the clay flue tile passes through the crown.
Our chimney technicians have repaired hundreds of chimney crowns. We will inspect your chimney crown and give you a detailed evaluation on its condition, including photographs and recommendations for repairs.
If your chimney crown has major structural damage, it may be necessary to rebuild it completely. We can pour a new concrete crown, making sure that it is the proper size and shape to prevent water intrusion and deterioration from the elements. The new crown will be reinforced with metal or fiberglass mesh in order to prevent future cracking and help the chimney crown last longer.
Failure to waterproof and repair your chimney crown will result in costly repairs and perhaps completely having to rebuild your chimney. Another popular alternative to help protect your chimney crown is to install a chimney pan cover, called a chimney chase cover, that will shed the water away from the chimney top.
If your chimney crown is cracked or your chimney is leaking, please call us to inspect your chimney.